frequently asked questions

How do prospective students outside the United States apply for admission to the University of Illinois? 

Prospective international students should visit the Office of Admission and Records' Web site for the most current information on language and other requirements.
Undergraduate international applicants should see:
Graduate international applicants can find information at:

Our department would like to host a visiting scholar. What do we need to do?

Visit the International Students, Scholars, and Services Web site for complete information on procedures for hosting a visiting scholar.

What are the procedures for obtaining a visa to enter and/or work in the United States?

Before traveling to the U.S., a citizen of a foreign country must generally obtain a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The type of visa you will need is based on the purpose of your travel. For more information visit the U.S. Department of State Web site at:

What is the difference between Global Studies and International Programs and Studies at Illinois?

Global Studies courses are part of a unique program that combines integrated curricula with internationally prominent guest speakers. International Programs and Studies is an administrative unit on campus which houses the Study Abroad Office, International Students and Scholars Services, and is also affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers. For a full listing, see the directory.

Are there any financial requirements other than tuition for international students?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires both undergraduate and graduate students to certify financial resources for living expenses for the full twelve months of each calendar year that a student will be attending his/her program at our institution. The living expense amounts stated above are for these full twelve months. If an undergraduate or graduate student plans to enroll in courses for the summer session, he/she is required to certify financial resources for the additional summer tuition amount. These additional summer tuition amounts (for both undergraduate and graduate) do not include any funds for travel and students should check with the Office of Admissions and Records (OAR) or the Graduate College for the current tuition amounts.

Married students who will be accompanied by spouses (and/or children), must certify additional financial resources to both the institution and to the U.S. embassy or consular office in order for dependent visas to be issued. The estimated cost for accompanying dependents can be obtained by contacting OAR, The Graduate College or ISSS.

Purchase of the University Insurance Plan, which provides worldwide medical insurance coverage, is mandatory unless proof of equivalent coverage is provided. Health insurance is also available to students' dependents for an additional fee.


What are some commonly used terms in the U.S. academic system?

  • The Academic Year -- the annual period of sessions -- at the University of Illinois begins in August and ends in May.  The fall session is from August to December and the spring session is from January to May.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree is usually obtained after four years of fulltime study – 12 or more credit hours per semester.
  • Credit hour is the unit of measuring educational credit based on the number of classroom hours per week throughout a semester.
  • A Freshman is a first year student, a Sophomore a second year student, a Junior is a third year student, and a Senior is a fourth year student.
  • Grade Point Average is a measure of a student’s performance.  A(4.0) is the highest passing grade; B(3.0) an above average passing grade; C an average passing grade; D the lowest passing grade; and F is a failed grade.
  • A Major is the academic subject chosen as a field of specialization.  For instance, you might choose to major in agricultural economics in the College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences, (ACES) or to major in psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).
  • A Minor is an academic subject that requires fewer courses than a Major.
  • A Transcript is an official copy of a student’s educational record of courses and grades.
  • A Transfer is a withdrawal from one educational institution to enroll in another.
  • Tuition is the payment for attending classes.